Recent years have witnessed increasing awareness and interest in rare earth elements (REE). These several, usually unfamiliar elements are key components of countless products used in our daily lives. Because of their use in many modern technologies, including those important for national security, the demand for REE grows, and so does the production, need to find their new sources and improve the extraction. This article provides an overview of REEs, their availability, production, and uses, and briefly discusses the future of these valuable and critical metals.
A noteworthy specimen recording a syn vivo interaction between a stalked echinoderm and a tabulate coral is described herein from the middle Silurian (Wenlock: Sheinwoodian) Massie Formation of Ripley County, southeastern Indiana. Part of the column of the camerate crinoid Eucalyptocrinites is encrusted around the entirety of its lateral margin by a favositid colony. The radially outward orientation of corallites on both the upper and lower surfaces of the colony show that the coral was elevated completely above the seafloor and, more importantly, that the crinoid column had to be vertical at the time of initial encrustation and subsequent coral astogeny. Hence, the crinoid host was most likely alive throughout the duration of this interaction. No evidence for a paleopathological reaction is present on the crinoid column, suggesting that the encruster did not adversely affect the host. This most likely reflects the long and inflexible column of Eucalyptocrinites, which could have supported encrusting, secondarily tiered organisms—even relatively heavy ones—without interfering with the biological functions of the crown or weighing down the column.
Water Quality Indiana is a learning platform that leverages collaborations, community partnerships, and active mentorship of transdisciplinary student cohorts. Since 2013, this platform has engaged teams of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and communication and media students to investigate water quality in east central Indiana (since expanded to other domestic and international locations) in an experiential problem-based learning environment. For community partners, Water Quality Indiana provides scientific data, analysis, and multimedia deliverables about water quality, and it has a successful record of finding solutions to real-world problems. From the point of view of faculty, project deliverables enhance several aspects of a faculty portfolio. For student participants, the goal is to increase metacognition, civic engagement, and confidence in processes associated with STEM and media studies, and, therefore, the transdisciplinary skills required in an increasingly competitive workforce. Assessing learning artifacts (e.g., assignment, quizzes, or other evaluative metrics) reveals a cognitive dissonance between metacognition and accuracy in declarative knowledge related to topics in water quality—student scores did not increase in posttest data despite an increased confidence in selected answers. In contrast, pretest and posttest results, synthesis reports, and focus group data suggest that confidence in procedural knowledge in both water quality and media production significantly increased by the end of the course. Students cited time constraints imposed by academic calendars and project deadlines as a limitation of the learning environment. Course data reveal differences based on academic background and gender: 1) media studies majors became more confident in their multimedia skills, while STEM majors became less confident; 2) note-taking style and detail is more organized and meticulous for female and STEM students compared to male and media studies counterparts.
This “Atlas of Charcoal-Based Grilling Fuel Components” features a compilation of more than 620 microscopic images taken between 2019 and 2021 while our team was improving methodology of using reflected light microscopy in identification of charcoal-based grilling fuels constituents. These photomicrographs provide documentation of the composition of the fuels and demonstrate the array of impurities that can be present. As such, this atlas is a valuable source of information for anyone interested in grilling, pellet fuels, optical microscopy, and quality assessment techniques.
Concerns about climate change, energy security, and the diversification of energy supplies have made renewable resources increasingly more attractive and important sources of energy. As interest grows, bioenergy (energy from bio-based sources) is becoming more environmentally friendly and economically viable and has started to play a more prominent role in the global energy mix. In this changing market, wood pellets have emerged as a sustainable source of power with the potential to become a mainstream fuel in the future energy market. Pellets are currently the most economical way of converting biomass into fuel, and they are a fast-growing component of the energy sector. Pellets can be made from various types of biomass including industrial waste and co-products, food waste, agricultural residues, and virgin lumber, which are compressed under high pressure. Among these, wood pellets are the most common, and they generally are made from raw trees, wood shavings, compacted sawdust, industrial wastes from the milling of lumber, manufacture of wood products and furniture, and construction. The wood pellets available on the market are sold as fuel (heating and grilling) or as absorbents for animal bedding. But while the wood pellets are a fast-growing component of the energy sector and important tool in fight with global warming, it is important to understand influence of wood pellet quality on combustion emissions, and how their usage impacts human health and environment. Thanks to wood pellet industry efforts, especially in the North America and European Union, many of the wood pellets follow rigorous production procedures, and certification. However, there are still some manufacturers that do not use the same production scrutiny, which can result in poorer quality of their pellets. Our research show that in some extreme cases these uncertified wood pellets contain more than 20 percent of impurities. While some of those contaminants are so big that can be visible even without microscope the majority of the contaminants are of micrometer size and can be detected and identify only under a microscope. While the current standards test the quality of pellets based on a variety of physical and chemical properties, some impurities in pellets (glass, plastic, metal, ceramics, coal, and coke) are not easily identified this way. Our research shows that reflected light microscopy can be successfully used to identify and quantify those contaminants. Although reflected light microscopy technique is a well-known and widely used method allowing examination of various materials, this is a novel application for pellet fuels.
This report on the coal resources of Indiana is the tenth of a series of state summary reports prepared by the geological survey as part of a program to estimate the coal reserves of the United States. Studies of the reserves in other states are contained in the following publications: Geology of the Deep River coal field, Chatham, Lee, and Moore Counties, North Carolina, Preliminary map, 1949; Coal resources of Montana, Circular 53, 1949; Coal resources of Michigan, Circular 77, 1950; Coal resources of Wyoming, Circular 81, 1950; Coal resources of New Mexico, Circular 89, 1950; Lignite resources of South Dakota, Circular 159, 1952; Coal resources of Virginia, Circular 171, 1952; Lignite resources of North Dakota, Circular 266, 1953; and Coal resources of Colorado, Circular 258, 1953.
The year 2021 is the 60th anniversary of the first publication of Caves of Indiana by Richard L. “Dick” Powell. To commemorate that anniversary, the Indiana Geological and Water Survey (IGWS) is releasing a digital version of this book. This release also coincides with the International Year of Caves and Karst sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This version was carefully revised and redacted to assure that the locations of, directions to, and maps of caves on private land are not available.
The 2022 annual Indiana Geological and Water Survey calendar, Illustrating Our Natural World, is now available. Since the days of prehistoric pictographs, illustrations have been useful to explain complex concepts, to show items that can't easily be seen in person, or to communicate ideas among people who do not have a common vocabulary. As artist-draftsmen, Robert "Bob" Judah and Wilbur "Bill" Stalions served those purposes for the Indiana Geological and Water Survey for nearly 50 years. The 21- by 33-inch calendar is printed in full color on heavy poster paper and is shipped rolled in a sturdy cardboard tube. As an Early Bird Special, you can get a calendar for 99 cents through January 31.
Carbonate rocks are a dominant lithology throughout Indiana, and they occur in rock units from upper Cambrian to upper Pennsylvanian in age. Because they are a primary source of energy and mineral resources in the state, they are examined extensively in cores and quarry faces. The description of any rock can, however, vary, depending on the technical skills and background of the examiner and the intended purpose for describing the rock. Carbonates are also complex and highly variable in their grain types and textures. The result is that the same rock could be described in different ways in the field or laboratory depending on the experience and needs of the person describing it. The fact that there are several formal and informal classification schemes used to describe carbonate rocks further complicates this communication problem. Some of these schemes were designed to be used in the field, while others are more suited to examination by petrographic microscope in the laboratory. For these reasons, we created this corebook in the hopes of standardizing terminology; using it, you can make a relatively quick, yet systematic, description of the carbonate rocks typically found in Indiana. This approach and terminology can be applied in varying degrees of detail, but it will still provide a fast, accurate, and consistent method of describing hand samples of carbonate rock by persons having diverse technical backgrounds, including geologists, engineers, drillers, miners, regulators, archivists, and educators.
Show your love for Indiana geology with the Geologic Time Periods t-shirt! Featuring geologic periods present in Indiana's rock record, this shirt is designed in the popular "ampersand t-shirt" style. This listing is for the gray color shirt, size XX-Large. T-shirts are 100% cotton. Designed and screenprinted by badkneestees of Bloomington, Indiana.
Show your love for Indiana geology with the Geologic Time Periods t-shirt! Featuring geologic periods present in Indiana's rock record, this shirt is designed in the popular "ampersand t-shirt" style. This listing is for the red color shirt, size XX-Large. T-shirts are 100% cotton. Designed and screenprinted by badkneestees of Bloomington, Indiana.
Show your love for Indiana geology with the Geologic Time Periods t-shirt! Featuring geologic periods present in Indiana's rock record, this shirt is designed in the popular "ampersand t-shirt" style. This listing is for the gray color shirt, size X-Small. T-shirts are 100% cotton. Designed and screenprinted by badkneestees of Bloomington, Indiana.
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